Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes With Marshmallow Ghosts

You guys. It’s been forever and ever since I’ve sat down to write. Part of it is I’m so full up on things to write about I never know where to begin… and, the other part is simply finding the time. Ever since we launched Relish Division last year I’ve been so blessed by God’s goodness with our business. We’ve been doing such fun work for the best clients… but, as one thing grows, something inevitably goes untended for a season. Gah. But, I miss you!

With all that said, I want to share something with you that you can’t help but smile about (and that any kids in your life will go bananas for):

Seriously, right??

Gluten free chocolate cupcakes topped with marshmallow ghosts.

How am I 44 years old and I’ve not made this until now?? Not only was cake mind-blowing moist (thank you, Izzy!!) but topping them with these ghosts (thanks for the inspiration Olivia!!) gave us giggles. Every ghost appears with its own personality… no matter how careful you are to try and pipe the icing perfectly. Some are alert, some look like they’re sinking away from you hoping you don’t see them, other’s look a little confused.

I love them… especially because they spread a little joy and awe instead of gore and fright.

Now, before I share the recipes with you, they are “gluten free” thanks to Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour. (Side note: I love baking, yet have never taken to gluten free baking until recently and, let me tell you: I’ve been using my tried and true recipes with this flour and this flour truly is a perfect replacement. I’ve been so impressed by it.)

HOWEVER, they are not sugar free… nor are they low in sugar. These babies are packed with some sweetness… but, remember: they’re not meant to be eaten by the tray full. They’re treats… and, everyone loves treats. So, keep them in that category, make them up, enjoy them… and, then back to quinoa and kale 🙂

Anyway, without further adieu, here’s the recipes:

FOR THE CAKE
(I take no credit for this recipe. It is 100% Izzy’s – I just took her cake recipe and made cupcakes from it):

  • 2 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Bob’s Red Mill gluten free 1:1 baking flour
  • 1 1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk or regular milk
  • 1 1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powered, salt, baking soda and baking powder. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Add the eggs one at a time and then add the vanilla and mix again. Finally add the milk and mix one last time. JUST LIKE IZZY SAYS: The wet mixture might look a little strange at this point, but that is ok! It looks really strange…. like you did something wrong. You didn’t. Just keep going.
  2. Add the flour mixture and the Greek yogurt to the wet mixture, one half at a time alternating between the two, starting with the flour. Give the batter one last mix until everything is combined.
  3. Fill your cupcake liners about 3/4 full, then bake for about 10-12 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean).
  4. Set aside to cool before icing. (NOTE: They must be totally cooled, or the icing will melt right off. So, best to make them the night before. Otherwise, you can speed up the final cooling by putting them in the freezer for a bit before icing.)

FOR THE MARSHMALLOW BUTTERCREAM GHOSTS
(I take no credit for this amazing icing… it’s 100% Olivia’s)

  • 1â…“ cups unsalted butter, softened
  • marshmallow fluff (about 1 container of 7oz-8oz tub of it)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon heavy cream
  • 2â…” cups confectioners sugar
  • 24 Halloween eye candies or 24 mini chocolate chips to make the “eyes”. (I bought our eyes at Michaels)
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter and the marshmallow fluff. Beat until creamy and smooth.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and the heavy cream and beat until incorporated.
  3. With the mixer on low, slowly add the confectioners sugar. Once incorporated, turn the speed up and beat for 1 minute, until light and fluffy. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if frosting is too thick. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.
  4. Frost cooled cupcakes (use a Wilton 12 tip) and decorate with the eyes.

If you make this, tag me on instagram @rebelgrain. I’d love to see how they turn out for you – and I’d also love to see all the personalities that come out 🙂

Ok. It’s Friday. Make it a good weekend, friends!

SIDE NOTE: Follow Bob’s Red Mill on Facebook and Instagram and watch for the release of the full length video – coming soon! And, yes, while my company, Relish Division, produced the recipe video for Bob’s Red Mill, the opinions are all my own 🙂

Quick & Creative Mealtime Challenge: A FRIGIDAIRE GALLERY® GIVEAWAY

With more and more families leading active lifestyles, home-cooking has been put on the back burner while fast food, takeout and grab-and-go options have heated up… am I right?  Well, one of the reasons I’ve been so blessed by my partnership with Frigidaire Gallery® is because, just like my heart is to inspire YOU to cook more at home, they want to inspire you in the kitchen, too!

That’s why today my friends over at Frigidaire Gallery® are offering you a chance to win a featured Frigidaire Gallery® appliance packed with time-saving, easy-to-use innovations. And, the hope? That you’ll be inspired to create a quick, easy and creative meal that will appeal to all of us on-the-go families.

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Here’s the scoop:

Starting today, you can enter the “Quick & Creative Weeknight Meal Challenge” by visiting www.frigidaire.com/contest to submit a quick and creative meal idea for a chance to win a featured Frigidaire Gallery® appliance of your choice AND have your recipe developed by a “well-known home chef and blogger”… me!

TAKE NOTE: ALL ENTRIES MUST BE SUBMITTED BY OCTOBER 23, 2015.

I’ll be selecting THREE WINNERS based on the following:

Creativity.
Speed of preparation.
Ease of cooking.

(Oh, and I also want to see you use at least TWO KRAFT® ingredients in the recipe.)

Here’s my example of what your entry might look like: 

“I marinate Tri Tip steak in a mixture of mayo, dijon mustard, lemon juice, garlic, fresh diced parsley, black pepper and sea salt, then I roast it in my oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.” 

That’s it… simple!

Here’s how my idea plays out in the kitchen:

Simple, creative ingredients:

1 Tri Tip roast, 1/2 cup of mayo, 1/4 cup of dijon mustard, juice from a lemon, 1 handful of rough chopped fresh parsley, 2 garlic cloves (smashed), 2 TBSP black pepper, 2 TBSP sea salt

MARINADE RECIPE:  1/2 cup of mayo, 1/4 cup of dijon mustard, juice from a lemon, 1 handful of rough chopped fresh parsley, 2 garlic cloves (smashed), 2 TBSP black pepper, 2 TBSP sea salt

 

Easy to prepare:

 

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(With less than 5 minutes) Mix all ingredients in a bowl to create the marinade... then, place the meat in a large plastic bag with the marinade and allow to sit for at least 1 hour (but up to 24 hours)

(With less than 5 minutes) Mix all ingredients in a bowl to create the marinade… then, place the meat in a large plastic bag with the marinade and allow to sit for at least 1 hour (but up to 24 hours)

Easy to cook:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and roast the meat on a roasting pan for 15 minutes per pound – and, in the last three minutes of cooking, turn on the broiler so the meat and ingredients really sizzle on top.

Remove meat from the oven, place on a cutting board (or plate), and cover with tinfoil for at least 10 minutes. While meat is resting you can prepare the table or the other sides… and get ready to enjoy!

Delicious to serve:

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Thinly slice the meat against the grain and serve with roasted potatoes, a hearty-spinach salad, or (my favorite) a simple quinoa salad made with roasted veggies and a little olive oil.

Now… YOUR TURN 🙂

Please SHARE this opportunity with your friends and family and GET YOUR ENTRY IN BEFORE OCTOBER 23rd!! I’m looking forward to seeing all your creative ideas.

DISCLAIMER:
Yes, this post is sponsored by Frigidaire Gallery®… but, as always, the recipe and all opinions are my own.

Get Ready: Whole Foods Greenway Opens TOMORROW (5/21/14)!

I’m not a grocery store loyalist. I go to where the gettin’ is good… which means I typically hit three to four spots before my grocery shopping is complete. Wherever I shop, though, my focus is the same: QUALITY. I want minimally processed, ideally organic, as local as possible, BEAUTIFUL ingredients for my cooking…. and Whole Foods is regularly at the top of my list.

This past weekend I was invited to preview a brand new Whole Foods opening in Tigard, Oregon at 12220 S.W. Scholls Ferry Road. And, you know what? I was beyond impressed. Not only did this store open 140 new jobs, provide a $2000 garden grant (in partnership with FoodCorps) to Mary Woodward Elementary, and donate a palate of food to Tigard’s Good Neighbor Center – the store itself is an environmentally friendly stunner.

What I loved  most about the new Greenway store is how quaint it felt. Unlike the grocery Disneyland I feel I’m in when I’m at some of their bigger stores, the Greenway store gave me ease.  It’s smaller in scale (it replaced the old Lamb’s Thriftway), and every section felt like a little store within a store – kinda like shopping at an indoor farmers market.

But, hey, I’ll let pictures tell the story:

Overall this new store has everything you’ll expect from a Whole Foods:

  • 100% satisfaction on everything you buy
  • an exceptional offering of items from local vendors (over 500 in the store!)
  • local flowers whenever possible
  • extensive wine / craft beer / craft cider offerings
  • a full service seafood counter offering seafood that is 100% traceable. Wild caught fish is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, which is the gold standard for wild caught seafood… and their farmed fish options are all sustainably raised.
  • a full service meat counter that will grind or season your meat choices at no extra cost. They feature the best-tasting, freshest, highest quality meats you can buy; all meat is from animals carefully raised without antibiotics or added growth hormones.
  • a full service, artisan bakery with more than just typical sweets, and many are baked for diet alternatives, too!
  • a gorgeous coffee and juice bar offering Allegro coffee, and freshly made-to-order smoothies and juice

And, this store also has some unique offerings you won’t find anywhere else:

  • It’s the ONLY store in Oregon with a fish fry program. Yep – just pick your fish, tell them how you want it seasoned, and they’ll fry it up for you at no extra cost!
  • It’s the first store to also have in-store smoked seafood.
  • It’s the only store in Oregon with a ‘street food’ inspired food court. And you know what? They’re open to suggestions for what YOU want to see offered by the cart!

So, when does the Tigard Whole Foods open for business?

TOMORROW!

May 21, 2014, with festivities beginning at 8:30am.

12220 S.W. Scholls Ferry Road

Here’s the scoop on the opening day festivities I encourage you to drop in for:

8:30am – forget ribbon cutting, it’s bread breaking time! Tigard Mayor John Cook, and Beaverton City Councilor Betty Bode, will join Whole Foods Market regional leadership, local suppliers and community partners to break a 4-food long loaf of challah bread, and welcome shoppers into the gorgeous new store.

9:00am – door OPEN!

  • The first 100 visitors will receive a Whole Foods gift card ranging from $10-$100! (Gift cards will be handed out in random order.)
  • All WF 365 Everyday items (some of my favorite, by the way), will be 25% off
  • There will be local vendors galore sampling out their goodies, including: Olympic Provisions, Unbound Pickling, Three Sisters Nixtamal, French Prairie Pork, Aurora Valley Poultry Farms chicken, Henry Higgens Boiled Bagels, Red Ridge Farms Oregon Olive Oil, Blue Fox Farms produce, and Gonzalez Farms berries.
  • There’s a cut-and-wrap truckload sale on Copper River Salmon going on from 11am-5pm; and,
  • the Southridge Jazz ensemble will play live music during a local wine tasting.

The WF Regional President, Joe Rogoff said, “We designed our Greenway store to cater specifically to the families and residents of this community. We hope the store will become a community gathering place, and a destination for high-quality, affordable food with a focus on local, healthy, organic, and fresh.”

And, you know what? They really did… and I hope so, too.

If you see me there, be sure to say HELLO! I’d love to give you a hug….

Are YOU Going to Win My Very First Giveaway?

Happy Monday!! I’m so excited because we are kicking off this week with a first for me: a GIVEAWAY!!

Last week when I was on AM Northwest talking about all the fun Easter / Spring finds from World Market, I gave you some ideas for ‘hostess’ gift baskets, remember? Well, World Market was kind enough to let me keep a basket of some of my favorites… to SHARE WITH YOU!

Here’s the deal:

The basket is worth approximately $50 and includes: a Microplane Zester ($13), Meyers Hand Soap and Dish Soap in Basil scent ($10), a citrus reamer ($5), a pair of veggie scrubby gloves ($10), a mini cutting board ($5), a darling fork, knife, spoon dish towel ($8), and some spring-themed muffin cups ($2)… all packed up in a darling basket ($8). All items are courtesy of World Market and were hand picked by me!

World Market Giveaway

World Market Giveaway

Once you click the link below you’ll have several ways to enter… and one of those ways allows you to enter once each day!

The giveaway starts today, April 14th, and will end at 11:59 this Friday, April 18th.

You must be over 18 to win (so please only enter if you’re over 18).

Finally: sorry, only addresses in the United States and US Territories can enter to win. (I’m covering shipping costs and shipping can get expensive… so I gotta keep it contained.)

 

Anyway, fun, no?

So, take a moment and I hope you’ll enter as much as you can this week. SOMEONE has to win… why not YOU??

a Rafflecopter giveaway

AM Northwest TV Spot: Springtime Finds From World Market

The best part of being the Northwest Food and Lifestyle expert for World Market is I get to hunt through their stores for what I love best… and then tell you about them!

Today on AM Northwest I shared some of my ideas for brightening up your Easter brunch table, putting together unique easter baskets, and also simple hostess gifts for whomever you may be visiting with this month.

My biggest encouragement, though? While you’re thinking about decorating your tables, putting together the baskets, planning egg hunts, and bringing sweet treats to those you’re be visiting… don’t leave out the JOY.

Your joy… your laughter… your sincerity… your gracious heart – THESE are the things that will make every part of your Easter celebration – and this spring season – beautiful.

YOU are what brings color and life to each day. Don’t forget that.

Anyway, here’s the clip – and, check out my Pinterest board for specific items (and others!) seen in the clip.)

And don’t forget to enter the sweepstakes through the link that follows the clip! Someone has to win the $2000 and year’s supply of Divine Chocolate… why not YOU? (Sweepstakes ends on April 18, 2014.)


http://www.katu.com/amnw/segments/Spruce-Up-Your-Easter-Celebrations-254386781.html

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REBEL GRAIN IS BACK!

 

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Drum roll please…. Rebel Grain is back!

Thanks to my beautiful, talented, very patient and gracious designer Jessica Tate – my heart now has a home.

Over the last several months I’ve sensed a transition coming on. At first I thought maybe we’d move (so we were looking at houses). Then, I thought maybe we’d be moving the kids to new schools (so we started looking around). I mean, there was something – just something – that was keeping me/us uneasy. So, I kept praying, kept my eyes on Him – patient, waiting… and I/we breathed a little easier as neither of those first ideas grew any feet. Then, it happened. I received some news from my SmartyBars manufacturer, and the ‘just something’ I felt coming became clear: SmartyBars, my business for the last two years and labor of love, was coming to an end.

After I hyperventilated at my computer and cried quite a few tears, I got up and kept walking. I called around, started asking question to see if I could find a new place to run my product… but, weeks passed and the signs still kept flashing: END OF CHAPTER.

So… as the job of human requires, I pulled myself together, zipped up my thick skin, and, with goose-bump covered arms, turned the page to this new chapter. It’s a chapter where the name “Rebel Grain” continues, and where the story of rebellion continues to unfold.

I’ve redesigned this place to – hopefully! – be a place where you and I can meet. You’ll notice some new things, such as:

  • “Just Quinoa” in the top navigation bar gives you access to all my quinoa recipes in one place
  • Each post is now easier to share – just look for the share buttons at the end of each new entry
  • PinIt for Pintrest has been added to every post photo as well, so PLEASE: Pin away!
  • You can subscribe to the blog two ways: (1) to your inbox via the link in the sidebar, or (2) via bloglovin’ (just be sure to download the app!). And, YES, I’d love for you to subscribe!
  • CATEGORIES have been simplified: Being, Believing, Mothering, Loving, Eating… but, you can continue to search TAGS through the side bar drop down menu.
  • You can “Journey With Me” via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, and YouTube via the icons in the side bar

My hope is that you’ll join me regularly to eat quinoa, keep the faith, spill our hearts, and share the the highs and lows of mothering the next generation of women and men. Most importantly, that you’ll join me for this: ENCOURAGEMENT. Encouragement to eat well, love our men, fight for our kids, and live sexy and confident in our womanly skin.

We’re in this together – aren’t we?

WE ARE THE REBEL GRAIN.